Kurt Montgomery/The Chart

Taylor Smith, junior Health Promotions major, is an internationally decorated Halo player. Halo is a first-person shooting game. Earlier this year, Smith placed in the top 25 worldwide.

Over the course of the last year, Taylor Smith has made a name for himself on the international Halo stage.

Smith is a junior at Missouri Southern. Halo is a first-person shooter video game, telling the story of Spartan 117, “Master Chief.”

Smith has competed in two separate Major League Gaming events and logged a top 25 worldwide performance in the recent Halo 4 Infinity Challenge, all while remaining a full-time student.

Smith started playing at the age of 10 and was gaming competitively by 17. His motivation to take it from a hobby and form of entertainment to a lifestyle happened when his father passed away. His dad had told him that he shouldn’t let his talent go to waste and that he should make something happen with it. Smith took the message to heart.

At his first MLG event in Columbus, Ohio, Smith and his team, Pursuing Dreamz, didn’t put in a great performance. However, their second MLG event in Dallas went differently. In an early event, Smith and his team were falling behind when they rallied. He recalled saying, “You can’t stop us, I don’t care who you are.”

Pursuing Dreamz ended up winning two games and placing 108 out of more than 400 teams.

In December 2012 and January 2013, Smith turned in his greatest accomplishment yet. He competed in the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge, a worldwide tournament with over 100,000 participants. He recorded over 1,000 games played in a week.

At one point, Smith finished No. 22 in the world. His average score was actually the highest in the entire competition.

“I honestly learned a lot about perseverance,” Smith said.

From here, Smith plans to continue working his way up the Halo leaderboards by honing his game and entering worldwide competition.